University English: Expressions and Vocabulary

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Interested in college or university? In this fun lesson, you’ll learn common expressions to talk about studying in university. You’ll learn vocabulary by hearing a story about a student’s real-life experience in university. Even if you’re not going to university, you’ll often hear these English expressions in movies and on television. These terms are also really important to learn if you’re going to be taking the IELTS or TOEFL. Don’t miss out on this conversational lesson, so that you can talk about university life just like a native English speaker! Afterwards, you can practice your new vocabulary by taking the quiz at


Hello. My name is Emma, and in today’s video, I am going to teach you some very, very useful verbs we use when we talk about university. Okay? So if you’re going to university, if you’re taking the TOEFL test or the IELTS test, these words are very, very important, because they’re very common and we use them all the time.

So, to teach you these verbs, I’ve decided to tell you a true story about a friend of mine. My friend’s name is Paul, and I’m going to tell you all about his university experience. While I tell you this story, it can help you if you imagine it in your head. Whenever you’re learning new vocabulary, the more you can visualize or make a mental picture of the words you’re learning, the easier it will be to remember them. Okay? And, if my friend, Paul, is watching this, I’m sorry, Paul. I’m telling some stories about you, maybe a little personal, so I apologize in advance.

Okay, so let’s get started about Paul’s life and problems at university. All right, so the first verb I’m going to teach you is “enroll”. “Enroll” or “sign up for”. These mean the same thing and it’s where… When you decide to go to university, you enroll in a class or you enroll in multiple classes. Paul enrolled in four classes. The class we’re going to be focused on, though, is Psychology 100. Paul enrolls in Psychology 100. Okay? I can also say: “Paul signs up for Psychology 100.” So this means he’s decided to take Psychology 100, and he’s told the university, so now he’s in the class. He’s enrolled.

So, Paul, at first, was a very good student. He studied very hard. Okay? If you study hard, it means you “hit the books”. “Hit the books” means “study hard”. So, after Paul enrolled in Psych 100, Paul hit the books. Every night he went, he opened his book, and he studied. He hit the books.

Then, the professor, the prof “hands out the assignment”. So this means the professor of Psych 100, he gave Paul an assignment. “Here, Paul, I want you to write this essay.” Okay? So the prof hands out an assignment. Okay? So the prof gives you work.

So, after the prof hands out the assignment, Paul is very stressed. You know, he can’t think about the assignment, he’s too stressed out about it, so he ends up partying, he, you know, has fun. And then the assignment comes due, which means he has to give the assignment in, imagine on a Thursday. The night before the assignment is due, Paul decides to “pull an all-nighter”. “Pull an all-nighter” means you stay up all night to finish something. So, for Paul, he did not have his assignment ready. It was not completed, so in order to get it finished, Paul stayed up all night working on it. So, at 3am, Paul was working at his… On his assignment. At 6am, Paul was working on his assignment. Well, Paul finished his assignment because he pulled an all-nighter.

So the next day, he goes to class, and guess what he does? He has his assignment, he’s very happy he’s finished, he “hands in his assignment”. So Paul gives his assignment to the professor. Paul hands in his assignment. We can also use the word “paper”. “Paper” is another word for “essay”. So, in Psych 100, Paul had to write an essay. We can say: “Paul wrote a paper”, and he handed it in.

So, if you… If we go back a couple steps, the professor hands out something.


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